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Old 11-23-2011, 10:17 AM   #1
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Dry Brining a Turkey

A foodie friend of mine sent me the following link that describes "dry brining" a turkey. What you do is heavily salt your turkey and then seal it in a plastic bag for three days. Supposedly this makes for a more succulent, better seasoned bird than the wet brining technique many of us use.

Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird) recipe from food52

Although I would argue there is no such thing as a "dry brine" (by definition, brine is a liquid. This is really nothing more than a salt rub), it sounds pretty interesting. And the fact that it has won taste tests makes me want to try it all the more. Unfortunately, I am picking up my turkey today, so there isn't time to do this. Maybe next year.

Has anyone tried this technique?


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Old 11-23-2011, 10:20 AM   #2
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I tried it once with steaks and must have done something wrong because they were extremely salty. I rinsed them before cooking.

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Old 11-23-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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I've done it with chicken(the superb Zuni Cafe recipe) and it was great. But not appreciably better than wet brining. Plus it can be messy.

A lot of folks swear by it, though.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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This is almost identical to how ATK did this. However, in that case, the skin was loosened re: the breast meat and Kosher salt (about 1T if I recall) was rubbed in there...you can't use a bird that has been injected with anything if you want to try this.

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Old 11-23-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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I do it with steaks and swear by it. As far as calling it dry, I think you are letting the name through you. The way the dry brine works is to initially pull moisture out of the meat. The moisture then mixes with the salt and dissolves it creating a brine solution (liquid) which is then reabsorbed by the meat.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:20 PM   #6
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I "dry brine" brisket to make corned beef. I have to soak it for a day or three to get the excess saltiness out of the meat. Don't you have to do that with turkey or steak? Is it because it doesn't get brined for nearly as long (My brisket takes 8 days to 2 weeks.)?
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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I just use as much salt as I want to ingest, no more and no less. All of it gets absorbed and there is no need to rinse as it is perfectly seasoned.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:53 AM   #8
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I'm trying something that sounded like it makes sense. That is to rub 2 tbsp kosher salt and 1 tsp pepper into the dry turkey two days before and let it sit open in the refrigerator. It is claimed that this will dry the skin and allow it crisp nicely. I noticed right away that, as promised, the salt was quickly absorbed, and the skin began to dry. This morning (cooking day), it is dry and going in the oven, to be basted with drippings every 45 minutes. I will report with a photo at the end of the day.

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